Reproductive justice – including access to safe and legal abortion – is foundational to eradicating poverty in this country. Research shows that those who are forced to carry out unwanted pregnancies are more likely to be unemployed, unable to afford basic needs, and experience household poverty lasting years following the pregnancy. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is an outrageous injustice that will push low-income families deeper into poverty – and the philanthropic sector must mobilize to ensure that does not happen.

The ruling will disproportionately and significantly harm low-income households, especially women of colour. Lack of abortion access will increase child poverty and strain public resources across the country – even in places considered safe havens of reproductive justice. For example, abortion providers in the San Francisco Bay Area, where my organization operates, are expecting huge increases in demand as surrounding states ban the procedure. While we want to be a safe and welcoming place for those unjustly impacted elsewhere to receive needed care, the stark reality is that this will also limit accessibility in a state where abortion access is already largely determined by geography and socioeconomic status.

Funders can help communities as they confront this tectonic shift. While many community-based organizations will be on the front lines to restore reproductive rights, many more will see their clients and communities impacted by restrictive reproductive healthcare access. Across the board, nonprofit organizations and the communities they serve will be facing greater challenges in a post-Roe world. From mental health, to education attainment, and workforce development organizations, philanthropic leaders must recognize the new challenges all of these organizations are now facing to meet their goals and deliver on their missions because abortion care is illegal or less accessible. In addition to simply increasing the overall level of funding, we need to adopt new approaches to meet this unprecedented moment. These include:

  1. Think outside of traditional methods. 
  2. Support nonprofit organizations in providing their workforce with reproductive healthcare. 
  3. Embrace political advocacy to fight for civil rights. 

Read the full article about supporting reproductive justice by Kevin Zwick at Alliance Magazine.